It's not there any more, the place where as a youth I caught and befrended an ancient burro that had been turned loose from an life of drudgery down in a mine. The burro that carried me into ever widening circles of adventures miles away from home in the Pinal Mountains of the high Sonoran dessert in Arizona.
The twin towns were named Sonora and Ray. The Hispanic workers of Kennecott Copper Company lived in Sonora. The Anglo workers lived in Ray. Each town had it's own elementary school, but both towns went to High School in Ray.
Many of life's hard earned lessons were awarded to this rowdy and rough Mountainborn boy. But some of the coolest things was learned from those friends that lived in Sonora. We traded bologna and mayonaise sandwiches for buritos at lunch time and traded stories of our cultures during dusty school yard recesses.
Sonora and Ray are not there any more. But the memories remain.
A very large open pit copper mine has swallowed both towns. Every time I am in the area, without fail, I go look down into that deep pit, reflecting on the past. Take a look with me if you please:
Teapot Mountain in the distance, taken from the open pit mine overlook.
Ray open pit mine.
Sonora memorial plaque.
Shovel bucket, tire and wheel for a Haul Truck. Look how small our camper looks beside it !